Today’s feature is one of my recent downloads: The Wonder Test, by Michelle Richmond
We ride the elevator in silence, emerging on the third floor. The company has revamped an old warehouse, making stylish use of exposed beams and concrete floors. There are no offices, no cubicles, just a series of cafeterias and conference rooms enclosed in glass walls.
Rory runs his hand through his hair, a gesture that reminds me so much of Fred I feel twin stabs of pain and joy in my heart. “I wish Dad was here. It’s totally his sort of thing.” (p. 60).
Lina is on leave from her job in New York at the FBI in order to clean out her father’s home in Silicon Valley. As though letting go of her father isn’t hard enough, Lina has also recently lost her husband in a freak traffic accident. Still reeling, she and her teenage son Rory must make their way through this strange new town and the high school around which it all seems to revolve. Rory soon starts coming home with reports of the upcoming “Wonder Test,” a general aptitude assessment that appears increasingly inane, and Lina is shaken out of her grief by a sense that something is amiss in Greenfield.
When she discovers that a student disappeared last year and was found weeks later walking on a beach, shaved and traumatized, Lina can’t help but be sucked into an impromptu investigation. Another kidnapping hits closer to home and reveals a sinister link between the Wonder Test and the rampant wealth of Silicon Valley’s elite. A searing view of a culture that puts the wellbeing of children at risk for advancement and prestige, and a captivating story of the lengths a mother will go for her son, this is The Wonder Test.
Would you keep reading?